2020 StingRay Special colors
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Morse mods?

  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Morse mods?

    Been cooped up for weeks and I'm getting bored.
    I've been playing my standard Morse quite a bit, and the "add bridge" switch is bugging me.
    It's fine quite a bit if the time, but when getting into funky rhythmic stuff, it's really in the way.

    So I'd like to mod it a bit as a project. Partially just for something to do.
    But I've never modded a guitar myself before, and I don't know if what I'm thinking is going to work.

    What I'd like is to remove the "add bridge" switch altogether. Then put in a 5 way switch instead of the 3 way.
    I know these are both doable.
    The next part is what I'm not sure of.

    I'd like to use the 3 position switch that controls the slanted pickup as an "add bridge" in the down position, off in the middle position, and "add slanted single" in the up position.

    I may also look into changing the humbuckers as well.

    Any thoughts on if this would work?
    Any advice for a novice modder?

    I picked up Dan Erlewine's book, and will be doing a lot of reading as well, but I'm always glad to accept advice.

    Thanks gents.

  2. #2

    User Info Menu

    Beej will be along soon. He's probably done as many mods to any Morse guitar as any one in history.

    You kids are gonna have so much fun.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
    Irish/American in Paris

    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Click here for my Music Man photo albums


    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service


  3. #3

    User Info Menu

    Awesome idea! Please keep us posted on the project.

    My advice would be to use a desoldering braid when you change things. It soaks up the old solder so the solder joints don’t get clumpy.

    2019 Albert Lee - BFR - Electric Shimmer
    2019 Axis SS semi hollow - DuBaldo Blue - rosewood neck
    2019 StingRay fretless - BFR - Sierra Vintage Burst
    2018 Axis SS - BFR - Buckeye Burl
    2017 StingRay 5 - 30th Ann
    2013 Luke III - PDN - emerald green sparkle
    - rosewood neck
    2012 Morse - BFR - Dark Lord
    2010 Axis SS - red flame - rosewood neck
    2009 Axis - pink quilt
    2006 StingRay fretless - 30th Ann
    2000 Axis SS - Lavender Pearl
    1996 StingRay - 20th Ann
    1995 Albert Lee - Natural

  4. #4

    User Info Menu

    There's so much you can do with this guitar. The key is to plan out what you really need. (Having re-wired mine a zillion times.) The cavity can get pretty busy, so better to have everything worked out in advance.

    First off- if the 'add bridge' toggle is in your way and you don't want to do a big project, just loosen the nut and flip it upside down. Then it'll be down (off) most of the time, and you won't hit it.

    If you go with a 5-way, what would you want to do? My guess is you may not want an extra 'add bridge' toggle, since you can get all of the bridge positions on the 5-way. Though I've seen some interesting ways of doing things with the single coils with both switches over the years.

    What I've done with mine is to set the 5-way up like the Y2D (N / N&M / B single / B single & B / B); As if you only had three pickups. Then I keep the 3-way toggle as originally wired (5-way / 5-way & N single / N single). Finally, I have the 'add bridge' toggle wired up as a coil split for the bridge. This is the main guitar I gig with, and I find it does everything well.

    Another approach is to put the single coils on the 3-way, determining which single coils are in use when selected via the 5-way. Or, set up a switch to toggle between various single coil combinations. (This guitar is screaming out for the Gamechanger switching.) Lots of options.

    In terms of pickups, sky's the limit, and really depends what you want. I like the single coils, so having swapped them out various times, I went back to the stock ones. For humbuckers, I've got a set of the Transition pickups in there and love them. Again, works perfectly for what I do with a cover band, and I find the neck to be far more usable.

    Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

  5. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    There's so much you can do with this guitar. The key is to plan out what you really need. (Having re-wired mine a zillion times.) The cavity can get pretty busy, so better to have everything worked out in advance.

    First off- if the 'add bridge' toggle is in your way and you don't want to do a big project, just loosen the nut and flip it upside down. Then it'll be down (off) most of the time, and you won't hit it.

    If you go with a 5-way, what would you want to do? My guess is you may not want an extra 'add bridge' toggle, since you can get all of the bridge positions on the 5-way. Though I've seen some interesting ways of doing things with the single coils with both switches over the years.

    What I've done with mine is to set the 5-way up like the Y2D (N / N&M / B single / B single & B / B); As if you only had three pickups. Then I keep the 3-way toggle as originally wired (5-way / 5-way & N single / N single). Finally, I have the 'add bridge' toggle wired up as a coil split for the bridge. This is the main guitar I gig with, and I find it does everything well.

    Another approach is to put the single coils on the 3-way, determining which single coils are in use when selected via the 5-way. Or, set up a switch to toggle between various single coil combinations. (This guitar is screaming out for the Gamechanger switching.) Lots of options.

    In terms of pickups, sky's the limit, and really depends what you want. I like the single coils, so having swapped them out various times, I went back to the stock ones. For humbuckers, I've got a set of the Transition pickups in there and love them. Again, works perfectly for what I do with a cover band, and I find the neck to be far more usable.

    Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.
    Thanks Beej,

    I have already turned the add bridge switch, and I hit it less often, but when I do...ow.
    I'm thinking of using the wiring you suggested for the 5 way switch, and for the add slanted single I'd like it to be:
    Down - ass bridge
    Middle - off
    Up - add slanted single

    Will the switch accommodate that?

    For pickups I'm thinking of keeping the singles for now, and possibly change the humbuckers for Pearly Gates.

    Also, you're in Canada right?
    What's the best place to order parts online?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6

    User Info Menu

    Yep, you can do that with the 3-way without too much work. I can walk you through it. (Though- the 'add bridge' thing is kinda redundant, since you can add the bridge to any other pickup just using the 5-way.)

    Yep! I'm in Toronto (midtown). For parts, I get them wherever ... I order MM parts from MM directly, pickups from whoever has them in stock (L&M, Cosmo, etc., then look for a Canadian seller on Reverb, then US), electronic components from Amazon. I've never found a great one-stop shop for everything so I just stockpile. (I used to hit Active Surplus downtown for many years... that place was awesome for all kinds of components for my projects ... sigh.)

  7. #7

    User Info Menu

    I've had my Morse for about two weeks and really like it, tho it took a bit to get it dialed in. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why the switch for the bridge HB was up for off, whereas the switch for the neck single-coil pup was down for off. It didn't occur to me to flip the HB switch the other way, which I did last night after reading this post.

    I'm intrigued by the 5-way option that beej describes but I'm pretty sure I can happily live with the guitar as is. The only pup combo I'd like to hear is the neck HB with bridge SC, which is kinda standard Micawber territory. As far as I can tell, beej's 5-way option doesn't provide that, either. But I can see the 5-way wired for

    1. N HB
    2. N HB/N SC
    3. N HB/B SC
    4. B SC /B HB
    5. B HB

    and leaving the toggles as is. I think that would cover most everything. But I suck at soldering--no patience...
    Silhouette (2007), Sunburst
    Silo Special (2004), CAR
    AL HH (2011), Black
    Steve Morse (2013), Sunburst
    Assorted Fenders and G&Ls...

  8. #8

    User Info Menu

    I hear you on the Neck + bridge single, that's a great sound. I get that by using the N&M position with the split bridge.

    (I have the same thing on my Y2D, where the tone control is a variable coil split for the bridge.)

  9. #9

    User Info Menu

    Well dang it.
    I thought I had figured out what I wanted, but now I'll have to give it some more thought.
    Maybe I could get away with just removing the bridge toggle, and add that functionality to the other toggle as described before, jeep the 3 way blade switch, and add a coil split to the tone knob.

    Got some thinking to do.
    Thanks again Beej. I'll be in touch when I figure things out if you don't mind.

  10. #10

    User Info Menu

    For sure! Hit me up anytime.

  11. #11

    User Info Menu

    The SM would also seem a candidate for something like Anderson's switcheroo system. I had one and it worked fine, tho for some reason I didn't like the guitar all that much and sold it.
    Silhouette (2007), Sunburst
    Silo Special (2004), CAR
    AL HH (2011), Black
    Steve Morse (2013), Sunburst
    Assorted Fenders and G&Ls...

  12. #12

    User Info Menu

    Funny story. I flipped the bridge pup on/off switch as suggested by beej, only to find out that a previous owner had already done that. Couldn't figure out why the neck pup had so much midrange when I thought--incorrectly, it turns out--that I had the bridge pup off. All is well, now. Carry on...
    Silhouette (2007), Sunburst
    Silo Special (2004), CAR
    AL HH (2011), Black
    Steve Morse (2013), Sunburst
    Assorted Fenders and G&Ls...

  13. #13

    User Info Menu


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ernie Ball Forums